‘Daddy’ … Kym Valentine, who once played Libby Kennedy (left) on Neighbours, says she still calls Alan Fletcher (second from the right as Karl Kennedy) her dad. Photo: Justin McManus
Former Neighbours starlet Kym Valentine – who is suing the producers of the soap for discrimination and demanding they re-hire her – has taken to Twitter to drum up public support for her plight.
Valentine’s Federal Court case was adjourned for the sixth time this morning.
The 36-year-old actor alleges she was unfairly dumped from her role as Libby Kennedy, which she played between 1994 and 2011.
Legal battle continues for Kym Valentine. Photo: Judith Johnson
“If I was wanted, the show’s producers would ask me if I was available,” she tweeted to her 473 followers. “But who they want back can be who you guys want back!”
In a previous post, she claimed she had asked whether she should return to Neighbours but her tweet and the replies were deleted.
“Spooky,” she wrote to a follower. “There are greater forces at play.”
In July, Fairfax Media exposed the looming court stoush between Valentine and her former employers, FremantleMedia. Valentine claims she was subjected to sex and disability discrimination during her time on the show and is suing for lost wages and “pain, hurt, suffering and humiliation”.
On Twitter, she claimed: “It was reported that I’m demanding my job back! Which would be hilarious but pointless. Its not my call, that’s up to all of you x.”
However, court documents obtained by Fairfax Media show that Valentine is seeking “an order directing [FremantleMedia] to re-employ the Applicant in the role of Libby Kennedy in Neighbours, on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which she enjoyed under her immediate past contract of employment”.
Alternatively, Valentine is happy to return in a different role that is “commensurate” with that of Libby.
Since joining Twitter in September, Valentine has been active in promoting her former character.
“To all Libby fans. You have been a constant support. Your lovin has helped me through some very dark times. I thank you with all my heart,” she wrote.
“There are so many rumours I can’t keep up just Trust me. I love playing Libby and I will do everything to protect her.”
She also berated TV Week magazine for focusing on the show’s long-time rival.
“Why don’t you give Neighours as much coverage as Home and Away? The fans are asking for it? Bring back the love xx,” she said.
When tweeting about the actor who still plays her father on the show, she refers to him as “daddy”.
“Yes, I actually do call Alan Fletcher Dad or Daddy. I have 4 as long as I remember xx,” she explained.
Valentine’s brief Twitter biography declares: “Don’t judge me for my choices when you don’t understand my reasons.”
When a fan urged her to “never give up”, she replied, “No f—ing chance! I’m half-Maltese and half Scottish! Passionately persistent! I can get really down but I’ll never be out.”
To another follower, she said: “It’s been a long hard fight but I’m on my back up to the surface.”
Many fans were delighted by Valentine’s extensive interaction with them, including re-tweets, replies and following their accounts.
“OMFG …. Libby follows me!!” declared one.
“Cheers for the follow, I’m truly honoured,” said another.
“Wow, never had a celeb reply before!” said an English fan. “What a lovely lady you are.”
Valentine and her former employers have until the end of the month to reach an agreement. If they don’t, the matter will go to trial.
Valentine seems determined to get her old job back.
“It’s a fact,” she tweeted. “Once a Kennedy, always a Kennedy.”
Valentine’s management has been contacted for comment.